BUXTON — The House District 16 seat is up for grabs in a race between David Durrell, a former business owner, and Nathan Carlow, a youthful member of the Bonny Eagle School Board.

Durrell made a bid for the seat two years ago but was defeated by incumbent Donald Marean, who has reached his term limit.

Carlow is making his initial bid for election on the state stage. He upset veteran politician Stavros Mendros, in the July primary.

District 16 represents part of Buxton, Hollis and part of Saco.

Carlow

Carlow cites dealing with the state’s economy, education and financial impact of Covid-19 as top concerns.

He said state economists are “forecasting a $1.4 billion dollar budget shortfall, and the most urgent question that every legislator should be asking themselves is how are we going to continue to fund the programs and services that thousands of Mainers rely on every day.”

The Bonny Eagle School Board, for example, has made some decisions to continue providing “top notch” education, he said.

“These decisions are never easy, but there has to be a method in place to review the efficiency and value of different programs throughout the district. Unfortunately, it appears that legislative Democrats, however good intended they may be want to continue taxing and spending the hard earned cash of Mainers,” Carlow said.

Education, Carlow said, needs to be one of the government’s highest priorities. Continuing to invest in education can accomplish several things, including reducing local property taxes, attract more people to Maine to live and work, and “perhaps most importantly” retain high school and college graduates who have been leaving the state in search of opportunities.

“In turn, this will enable us to restore the jobs that have been vacated by retirees, particularly those working as medical professionals, civil engineers and teachers,” Carlow said..

He also says sacrifices will be needed to adapt to the financial effects of COVID-19.

Durrell

Durrell  said the biggest immediate issue the state faces is the pandemic.

“It will have health and economic fallout that we can only guess at now,” Durrell said.” We will need to safeguard our health, protect our economy and deal with the budget issues that all this creates.”

He advocates helping businesses continue safely.

“There will be tremendous need for relief, and yet the working people of Maine can’t afford a tax increase,” he said.

Durrell has spent 28 years “making tough choices” needed to keep a successful business running and employees paid.  He believes he has the experience to safeguard communities and the state.

Economic recovery and development, Durrell said, will be  important as “we steer through and past this crisis.”

He said small business is the basis of the state’s economy.

“It will be critical to help every way we can, from limited direct aid to tax incentives, and look at cutting any duplicative red tape and regulation,” he said.

Businesses still need skilled workers to thrive, he said, and he favors supporting trade schools to provide skilled workers.

He also favors the state funding schools at 55% as mandated, which he said is critical to help ease the local tax burden.

Affordable health care remains an issue that affects economic well-being and still must be addressed, he said.

“Energy diversification is another component. Many of these issues really wrap together to affect the overall economic climate,” Durrell said.

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